How to earn Marriott points
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Marriott is the second largest hotel chain in the world, and has hotels in luxurious destinations like the Maldives and Italy or nearly any other place you might want to go. With total worldwide locations numbering over 7,000 and multiple unique brands, it makes sense that Marriott points are so sought after.
You have many ways to earn Marriott points with cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, or by transferring from partners and spending directly at Marriott hotels.
Marriott hotels include The Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, Westin, Renaissance, Courtyard, Autograph, St. Regis and Edition. I’ll show you all the ways to add Marriott points to your account.
How to earn Marriott points
The easiest way to collect Marriott points is with welcome offers from the best travel credit cards. Chase and American Express each issue cards that earn Marriott points.
They in terms of welcome bonus, annual fee and points earned in bonus categories. Here’s a roundup with the important details. Be sure to check our in-depth reviews of each card for more information.
Note: You can only earn the welcome bonus on American Express personal and business cards once per person, per lifetime.
With the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card, earn 125,000 bonus points + 1 free night (valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 in the first three months from account opening (total of up to 175,000 bonus points).
Plus, you’ll earn 6x Marriott points per $1 on eligible Marriott Bonvoy hotel purchases and 2x Marriott points per $1 on every other purchase.
With more than 45 airline transfer partners and 7,000 hotels, you won’t have any trouble finding a use for your hard-earned points.
Each year after your card account anniversary, you’ll receive a free-night award, which you can redeem at any hotel up to 35,000 points (Category 5). Here’s a look at Marriott’s award chart. For example, you can redeem your free-night award at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown, which would otherwise set you back ~$275 or 35,000 points.
You aren’t eligible for this card if you have certain other Marriott cards. Read our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card for details.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card has a welcome offer of 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points & 2 bonus Free Night Awards after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months. (Each bonus Free Night Award has a redemption level up to 50,000 points. Certain hotels have resort fees.) Offer ends 11/3/2021.
There’s a $125 annual fee (See rates & fees).
You can get a value of much more than the annual fee because every year after your card account anniversary, you get a free-night award, which you can redeem at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program worth up to 35,000 points per night. You can also earn an additional free-night award after you spend $60,000 on your card in a calendar year.
How you use those points depends on what you are looking for. You can book longer stays at Marriott’s budget-friendly hotels like the Courtyard Orlando Lake Buena Vista, where you can book a five-night stay at the standard rate for free using your welcome bonus.
Or splurge on an unforgettable two-night stay at incredible resorts like the Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club right on Ka’anapali Beach, where my wife and I honeymooned. We were a five-minute walk from Black Rock where we swam with sea turtles.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex card comes with 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and a bonus free night award (redemption level worth up to 85,000 Marriott points) after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. Resort fees may apply. Offer ends 11/3/2021.
In addition to the welcome bonus, you’ll get benefits like:
- 6 Marriott points per $1 at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
- 3 Marriott points per $1 at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines
- 2 Marriott points per $1 on everything else
- Up to $300 annual statement credit to use each card membership year at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program (including room charge)
- Annual free night (worth up to 50,000 points) after you renew your card at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program (certain hotels have resort fees)
- Priority Pass Select membership (you can bring up to 2 guests) (enrollment required)
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit (a value of up to $100)
- Terms apply
The card comes with a $450 annual fee (see rates & fees). That’s high, but you’ll get way more value from this card as long as you spend at least $300 at Marriott hotels annually. The up to $300 Marriott statement credit can effectively bring the cost of the annual fee down to $150 ($450 annual fee – $300 credit).
You’ll also get lots of additional money-saving perks to justify the annual fee.
Earn Marriott points indirectly
Other cards earn miles or points that you can transfer to Marriott, including:
- American Express Membership Rewards points
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points
You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio. There’s no fee to convert points, and transfers are usually instant.
Here are all the cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards points:
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Remember, you can only earn the bonus on personal and business American Express cards once per person, per lifetime.
Consider carefully if transferring points to Marriott makes the most sense for you. There are plenty of other ways to earn Marriott points.
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio. There’s no fee to convert points, and transfers are usually instant.
Cards that earn transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points are:
You can also transfer points to Marriott directly if you hold the Chase Ink Plus or Ink Bold (not available to new applicants).
There are also four no-annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. But you’ll need one of the above cards to transfer points to Marriott.
If you have one of the following no-annual-fee cards, you can still combine points with another eligible card, then transfer points to Marriott. But you must have at least one annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards card to transfer points directly to travel partners.
- Chase Freedom®
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card
- Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Note: Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott isn’t typically the best way to use your points, because Chase has far more valuable transfer partners like United Airlines and Hyatt.
More ways to earn Marriott points
Stay at Marriott Hotels
You will certainly earn Marriott points when you stay at Marriott hotels. You’ll earn 10 Marriott points per $1 spent on eligible hotel charges at most Marriott hotels (not including taxes). And depending on your Elite status level, you’ll earn bonus points for your stay, too:
- Bonvoy Silver Elite members earn a 10% points bonus per $1 spent
- Bonvoy Gold Elite members earn a 25% points bonus per $1 spent
- Bonvoy Platinum Elite members earn a 50% points bonus per $1 spent
- Bonvoy Titanium Elite members earn a 75% points bonus per $1 spent
- Bonvoy Ambassador Elite members earn a 75% points bonus per $1 spent
Note: Regardless of your Elite status, you’ll only earn 5 Marriott points per $1 spent at Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites hotels.
Green Choice and welcome gifts
At participating brands, you can opt-out of housekeeping and earn up to 500 bonus points per day on stays of two nights or more at participating Renaissance, Marriott, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn and SpringHill Suites locations in the U.S. and Canada (up to a maximum of 5,000 bonus points per stay).
Additionally, if you’re a Gold Elite, you can earn up to 500 Marriott points as a welcome gift. Platinum Elite members can get up to 1,000 Marriott points. Sometimes you can choose between points and breakfast, depending on the hotel brand.
Refer a friend
You can refer friends through Chase and Amex, or through Marriott directly.
When you refer a friend, Chase allows you to earn up to 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per eligible card once they open a card and complete the minimum spending requirement. You’ll earn 10,000 points per referral, up to 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer to Marriott directly at a 1:1 ratio.
For small-business cards, that number can be as high as 20,000 points per referral, and up to 100,000 points per year. Or you can refer friends to the personal Marriott card and earn 20,000 Marriott points per referral, up to 100,000 Marriott points per year.
Amex also lets you refer friends. For example, I can earn up 20,000 Marriott points per referral up to 55,000 Marriott points per calendar year when my friends open a Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card and meet minimum spending requirements.
Each Amex card may have different bonuses per referral so make sure you log into your account to see your offer. Membership Rewards points earned by referrals can be transferred directly to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
Lastly, Marriott rewards you with Marriott points when you refer a friend and they complete a stay. You’ll earn 2,000 points per stay, up to five stays per referral. That’s up to 50,000 Marriott points. Check out the Marriott referral website for more details.
Marriott Moments offers special activities and events for Marriott Rewards members. You can participate in a gourmet tasting or a spooky tour of the city, for example. Marriott members earn 10 Marriott points per $1 spent on Marriott Moments.
Marriott Bonvoy events
By booking events directly with Marriott at participating brands, you can earn 2 Marriott points per $1 spent. You can also earn airline miles and elite-qualifying nights, take a look at the Marriott Bonvoy Events website for more details.
Marriott runs promotions that reward Marriott Rewards members with bonus points. In the past, they’ve run promotions where members earned double points at participating hotels starting with their second stay.
Marriott Vacation Packages
Sometimes, Marriott will offer bonus Marriott points for booking vacation packages through its portal. We’ve seen promotions in the past for 10,000 bonus points with a four-night stay at select locations.
Hertz car rental
As part of the Marriott Moments experience, you can rent a car through Hertz and earn up to 2,000 Marriott points per rental. Best of all, you can receive discounted rates when booking through the Marriott Moments portal.
You can earn 3 Marriott points per $1 spent through the CruisesOnly portal, an exclusive Marriott partner.
Like free stuff? So does MMS team member Brett. He was able to snag a $1,000+ hotel stay for almost free by attending a timeshare presentation for Hilton. Although Marriott does things a little differently, they still offer incentives for attending timeshare presentations. Members report earning 10,000 Marriott points on some occasions, in addition to resort credits of $25 or more.
Purchasing Marriott points is always an option. Although usually not recommended, there are specific times when buying points makes sense. One reason you might want to buy points is to keep your current pool of points from expiring if they will expire after 24 months of inactivity. Another time you might buy points is to top off your account to meet a specific redemption.
If you have a Diners Club Card, you can transfer Diners Club Rewards at a rate of 1,250 to 1,500 Marriott points. Check out the Diners Club website for more information.
There are many ways to earn Marriott points from top travel credit card welcome bonuses and ongoing spending on cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.
Marriott has partners to earn even more points, including for dining, taking a cruise, one-of-a-kind experiences or renting a car. You can also purchase points if you want them even sooner. With all of these ways to earn Marriott points, you’ll have your next award stay that much faster.
What’s your favorite way to earn (and use) Marriott points?
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, click here.
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)